California Legislator Tries to Kill Medical Marijuana Program

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This Tuesday, the California Assembly Committee on Public Health will debate a very controversial bill. Last week, Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) introduced AB 2650, which would create new statewide zoning restrictions on medical marijuana establishments. The bill is sponsored by the Peace Officers Research Association of California. The following three paragraphs contain the main points of California AB 2650:

Joan Buchanan

“This bill would provide that no medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider, shall be located within a 1,000-foot radius of a school, public park, public library, religious institution, licensed child care facility, youth center, substance abuse rehabilitation center, or any preexisting medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider, as specified. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

“No medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider who possesses, cultivates, or distributes medical marijuana pursuant to this article shall be located within a 1,000-foot radius of a school, public park, public library, religious institution, licensed child care facility, youth center, substance abuse rehabilitation center, or any preexisting medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider.”

“The distances specified in this section shall be the horizontal distance measured in a straight line from the property line of the school, public park, public library, religious institution, licensed child care facility, youth center, substance abuse rehabilitation center, or preexisting medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider, to the closest property line of the lot on which the medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider is to be located without regard to intervening structures.”

There are some organizations that are interpreting this bill as only applying to dispensaries. But if you look at the first paragraph I mentioned above, it says the word ‘establishment.’ That’s a very subjective word that can be applied to virtually anything. If law enforcement feels that your house, doctor’s office, etc. is an ‘establishment,’ and is located within 1,000 feet of just about ANYTHING, they have legal backing to arrest and prosecute you.

When you consider how many schools, parks, libraries, churches, day cares, youth centers, and rehab centers there are in California, this bill is tantamount to killing the state’s medical marijuana program. If there were any areas left in California that would allow medical marijuana ‘establishments’ under AB 2650, they could be easily shutdown by placing day cares or parks strategically throughout the state. To sum up; THIS BILL IS TOTAL CRAP! People have to fight it; remember - Joan Buchanan is up for re-election. Contact your California legislator and tell them that you won’t put up with this, as well as Joan Buchanan. I will keep everyone posted in regards to rally/protest times and locations as they hit my e-mail in-box.

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